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Investigation on the factors that affect the bounce of a ball.

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Investigation on the factors that affect the bounce of a ball Aim: To investigate the factors that affect the bounce of a ball. Planning: Scientific Knowledge: In every day lives we come across a number of different objects that are bouncing, colliding and in motion. All these are attributable to the energy changes involved in the process thus obeying the law of conservation of energy. The law of conservation of energy states that 'energy can neither be created nor destroyed' and that the sum total of energy in this universe remains constant. This scientific method of looking at energy changes can be associated and implemented on a variety of simple things and one among them being observation of bouncing objects. This motivation has lead me to investigate, understand and analyse bouncing of a ball on a surface. However, understanding the bouncing mechanism is not as simple as it appears, because there are several factors involved during the bouncing action. For example, the material of the ball, the type and nature of surface over which it freely falls, frictional factors due to air resistance, temperature affecting the surrounding air molecules as well as during the ball-surface interactions. Preliminary Investigation Looking around practically made me notice a variety of different types and sizes of balls. There were golf balls, tennis balls, footballs, sponge balls, cricket balls, bouncy balls, etc. I observed them carefully and noticed that none were similar in any way. ...read more.


> Make sure that there is very little air movement. > Make sure that you have the same experimental conditions for all the three trials. The factor I will be investigating is the height I drop the ball. The balls will always be dropped from the chosen heights. E.g.1 metre, 0.8 metres, etc. After releasing the ball we will then measure the maximum height it reaches after bouncing. The ball I will test is: > Bouncy ball - it will be made of rubber. The heights I will drop the ball from are: > 20m > 40m > 60m > 80m Another factor, which I will be testing, is the surface I drop the ball on to. These will be: > Wooden surface > Cork surface > Carpeted surface The equipment we will be using is: > Retort Stand and Clamp > Nail > Metre ruler > Bouncy ball > Wooden surface > Vernier Calliper > Electronic Weighing Scale Diagram 1: Diagram 2: Method: 1. Collect all required equipment. 2. Set up as shown above. 3. Make sure it is safely set up, and that the nail is secured in position. 4. Draw out a table to write the results in. 5. Take the bouncy ball and drop it from your first fixed height three times. 6. Record the results that you gain 7. Repeat the process for the remaining heights. 8. Record these results. 9. Change the surface. ...read more.


> The ball could have hit a dent in the workbench in which case the bounce of the ball would have been affected. > The ball could have not been measured properly. I don't think that I had enough evidence to draw a suitable conclusion, as there is always space for improvement. The results I took could not be necessarily that accurate. I could have performed more than three trials on each surface, in which case my average would have become very accurate. If I had better equipment, then my results would be extremely accurate, and the graphs would give would show an extremely positive correlation. If I was given the chance to do this experiment again, I would want to use more high-tech equipment, to get more accurate results. If I could repeat it again, I would want to time the drop, so that I could calculate the velocity (velocity (m/s) = distance(m) / time (sec)) Doing this would have given me the chance to calculate the loss in Kinetic Energy. Another factor I would like to investigate if I could do this experiment again is to see how the bounce between different balls differs. I could take three different balls for example and bounce them on different surfaces, which would give me a good set of results. I think I have overall found out the main factors that affect the bounce of a ball considering the situation that I was in. Rahul Krishnan 11T Physics Coursework MR Inger 26/09/01 ScD4 ...read more.

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